History of marine science
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History of Marine Science. Unit 2. Voyaging. Travelling for a specific purpose First navigation was by celestial navigation- finding one’s position in reference to heavenly bodies. First Voyages 4000 BC Egyptians organize commerce on Nile 800 BC first cartographers make ocean charts.

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History of Marine Science

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History of marine science

History of Marine Science

Unit 2



  • Travelling for a specific purpose

  • First navigation was by celestial navigation- finding one’s position in reference to heavenly bodies.

  • First Voyages

    • 4000 BC Egyptians organize commerce on Nile

    • 800 BC first cartographers make ocean charts

Library at alexandria in egypt

Library at Alexandria in Egypt

  • First university

  • Housed scrolls copied by law off ships that harbored.

  • Eratosthenes

    • Librarian whom calculated circumference of Earth.

    • Realized if the sun was directly over one place (shining straight down), and over another place (shining at an angle) then the Earth must be curved

    • Estimated Earth size within 8% of true value.

    • Developed longitude and latitude

      • present day longitude and latitude was developed by Hipparchus in 120 BC

  • Hypatia

    • Last librarian

    • First woman recognized as mathematician, philosopher, and scientist

    • Murdered

    • library burned because of religious opposition to knowledge-Incalculable loss

Research vessels

Research Vessels


– small underwater vehicles


– remotely operated vehicle


–lowered by a cable from a ship

Drilling ships

– take sediment cores

Floating and Fixed platforms(FLIP – floating instrument platform)

-gather data like temperature, salinity, density, and weather patterns

History of marine science




History of marine science

Fixed platform

Drilling ship

Floating platform

Other research instruments

Other Research Instruments



– SEASAT: 1st satellite dedicated to ocean studies


Underwater cameras

Side scan sonar

– great for sunken ships

The egyptians

The Egyptians

The Egyptians established sea trade throughout the Indian Ocean as early as 2300 B.C.

ca 1938 - 1756 B.C. built the canal, the Isthmus of Suez, to navigate ships across land.

It operated until 775 A.D.


The phoenicians

The Phoenicians

Phoenicians: (from the Middle East)

Sailed around Africa in 590 B.C.

A stone carving from the 1st century AD shows the kind of ship that the Phoenicians used on the Mediterranean Sea

The greeks

The Greeks


Herodotus published accurate map of Mediterranean region, ca 450 B.C.

Alexander the Great, 336 B.C. Developed trade routes throughout the Mediterranean and expanded their empire under Alexander the Great


The greeks1

The Greeks

200 B.C. Eratosthenes

mathematically calculated the circumference of the Earth to be 40,000 km.

It actually is 40,032 km.

2,200 years ago his math was good enough to be off only 32 km!

  • Eratosthenes knew that at noon on the summer solstice the Sun is directly overhead at Syene (a city)

  • He also knew the distance between Syene and Alexandria (another city)

  • combined with his measurement of the solar angle a between the Sun and the vertical, he was able to calculate Earth's circumference.

    From Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The arabs

The Arabs

ca 200 B.C Islamic and Arab Merchants

Experienced sailors

traded throughout the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans.

They are believed to have invented the lateen sail

triangular sail important in early navigation.


Science voyaging middle ages

Science Voyaging: Middle Ages

900 A.D. The Vikings crossed the North Atlantic to colonize Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland

using the North Star to determine latitude

Exhumed Viking ship; Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway.

Science voyaging 15 th century

Science Voyaging: 15th Century


Sailed to influence and impress their neighbors.

1492 Columbus

Sailing for Spain, sailed the Atlantic and “discovered” the America’s.

1497 Vasco de Gama

Sailing for Portugal, sailed around Africa from Portugal to India to establish trade routes.

Europeans searched for the Northwest passage through northern Canada to trade with Asia; explored the Arctic.

Science voyaging 16 th century

Science Voyaging16th Century

1519 - Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan

the 1st European expedition to circumnavigate the world.

237 men began the voyage; 18 returned.

Magellan actually died before the journey was finished, but his crew returned in 1522.


Science voyaging 18 th century

Science Voyaging 18th Century

  • John Harrison in 1728 developed the first chronometer.

    • This was a timepiece governed by a spring instead of a pendulum

    • allowed longitude to be known

    • 4 are still located in Greenwich, England, which is the 0 meridian.

    • If your noon is before Greenwich noon then you are to the east, if your noon is after Greenwich then you are to the west.

    • Latitude can be known by stars (angle between your eyes, horizon and north star).

Science voyaging 18 th century1

1762 American Ben Franklin

created a chart of the Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream gives the US its warm climate, bringing warm water north from the equator.

Science Voyaging 18th Century

Science voyaging 18 th century2

Science Voyaging 18th Century

  • 1768 James Cook of the British Royal Navy

  • First marine scientist

  • charted New Zealand, many islands, and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia sailing upon the HMS Endeavor.

  • Recorded and successfully interpreted natural history, anthropology, and oceanography with accuracy and thoroughness.

  • Insisted on cleanliness and made his men eat limes to ward off scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency)

Science voyaging 19 th century

1831 Charles Darwin

HMS Beagle

Explored Galapagos Islands

led to the origin of species and the modern theories of evolution.

Science Voyaging 19th Century


Science voyaging 19 th century1

Science Voyaging 19th Century

  • 1838 US began the US Exploring Expedition with the unpopular Lt. Charles Wilkes

    • Expedition was to gain knowledge and disprove theory that Earth was hollow and there were holes in the poles.

    • Information obtained made up 19 volumes of maps, text, and illustrations.

  • 1840 Matthew Maury of US Navy

    • Father of Oceanography

    • used sounding with a weighted line to discover the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a hidden range of underwater mountains

    • Made charts and sailing directions

    • 1855 published the Physical Geography of the Sea

    • Monument in Richmond, VA

Science voyaging 19 th century2

Science Voyaging19th Century

  • 1872-1876 Charles Wyville Thomson and John Murray (who coined the term oceanography)

    • set out on famous HMS Challenger Expedition for British

    • Took samples and disproved theory that there were no organisms below 1,800 feet due to pressure and lack of light.

    • Discovered 4,727 new species, tested water, made soundings, 151 trawls, currents, meteorology, sediments, and charted reefs.

    • The first pure oceanographic investigation that stimulated the science of marine biology.

    • Complied a 50 volume set of information still used today

      • gathered more data in its time than all other data to date.

    • Expedition is also still ongoing today and is considered the first “only for science expedition”

    • this is the voyage that discovered the world’s deepest ocean trench, the Marianas Trench, now sometimes called the Challenger Deep.

Science voyaging 19 th century3

Science Voyaging19th Century

  • The map below shows the

    routeof HMS Challenger(in red);

    the expedition lasted 1,000

    days and covered more than

    68,000 nautical miles.

  • 1895 Fridtjof Nansen

    • studied the polar oceans aboard the Fram, a ship built to withstand crushing ice

    • confirmed the relationship between whales and plankton- from a whaling stand point

Science voyaging 20 th century

Science Voyaging20th Century

1898 John Holland invents 1st gas engine/battery powered submarine

bought by US government in 1900.

The world wars were the catalyst for US oceanographic research

Development of technologyincluding electronic equipment, deep sea drilling programs, (1916) SONAR, use of GPS (global positioning system) and satellites.

Science voyaging 20 th century1

Science Voyaging20th Century

  • 1914 British explorer Sir Ernest Shackelton aboard the Endurance

    • pursues a dream of crossing Antarctica on foot by way of the South Pole.

  • 1925 German Meteor Expedition

    • the first to use echo sounding (depth and contour) to discover that the ocean was rugged, not flat as thought.

  • 1943 Jacque Cousteau and Emil Gagnan

    • invent the “aqualung”

Science voyaging 20 th century2

Science Voyaging20th Century

  •  1960 Jacque Piccard and Don Walsch in the US Trieste bathyscaphe (small submarine)

    • descend 35,801 ft. into the deepest part of the ocean within the Marianas trench


History of marine science

".... I saw a wonderful thing. Lying on the bottom just beneath us was some type of flatfish… Even as I saw him, his two round eyes on top of his head spied us…”

“Why should he have eyes? Merely to see phosphorescence?...Here, in an instant, was the answer that biologists had asked for the decades. Could life exist in the greatest depths of the ocean? It could!” - J. Picard

Science voyaging 20 th century3

Science Voyaging20th Century

  •  1962 Alvin

    • Designed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

    • First deep sea submersible to carry passengers

    • has traveled around the world completing 4,162 dives.

    • has mechanical arms and in 1966 helped to locate a H-bomb that was lost in the Mediterranean Sea.

    • In 1979 discovered black smokers on the sea floor.

History of marine science

“Black Smokers" are named for the soot-like appearance of the ejected material billowing out of the "chimneys".

Super-heated water from the Earth’s crust with very high concentrations of dissolved minerals.

As the super-heated water meets the very cold ocean-bottom water, the dissolved minerals precipitate out and settle onto the rock around them.

This causes the chimneys to grow in height over time.

Science voyaging 20 th century4

Science Voyaging20th Century

  •  1968 GlomarChallenger

    • confirmed evidence of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics from core drilling samples.

Science voyaging 20 th century5

Science Voyaging20th Century

1985 JASON (a satellite)

found and documented the wreck of the Titanic.

JJ attached to Alvin to go inside the ship

1989 - Japan launched the Shinkai 6500

- can carry a crew without a tether (rope) up to 21,414 ft deep into the ocean (a world record).

Science voyaging 21 st century

Science Voyaging21st Century

In 2006, a Chinese mineral company (COMRA) designed a craft to reach 23,000 ft



The ocean represents the Earth’s last frontier for exploration and the key to understanding the future of our planet.

The human race depends on the life and sustainability of the ocean for economic, biological, and environmental stability.

The world of Aquatic science is ever reaching for new discoveries in this blue realm.

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